MANOR, Texas — A teacher at Manor High School was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly hitting a student with a disability.
Manor ISD said that while outdoors, a group of students saw the teacher through a window physically hitting the student. The students alerted the Manor High School administration of the incident and the administration notified the Manor ISD Police Department.
The district said Manor ISD police ensured the student’s safety before conducting an on-site preliminary investigation, which led to the arrest of the teacher. The teacher was booked and detained at the Travis County Jail, Manor ISD said.
The incident has also been reported to the appropriate outside entities for investigation.
“The safety of Manor ISD scholars is our number one priority, and we want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to support our scholars and the MHS campus,” Manor ISD Superintendent Dr. Andre D. Spencer said in a statement on Wednesday. “With that in mind, we must respect the privacy of the scholars and families involved. The mental health crisis team will be on campus. Our District is committed to the wellness of every scholar, and we will continue to take any and all steps necessary to follow through on this commitment as our entire school community continues to be impacted by these challenging times.”
Dr. Spencer said it was an isolated incident and “does not reflect the vision, mission, beliefs, values or behaviors of our collective District.”
“I want to thank the Manor High School scholars, administrators and Manor ISD PD for acting swiftly to address this incident,” he said.
An affidavit obtained by KVUE identified the teacher as Melvin D. Tealer, who is now reportedly facing a felony assault charge.
The affidavit states that the group of students that witnessed the incident recorded it through the window. Video shared with police reportedly shows the teacher hitting the student on his head and face. Another teacher also reportedly witnessed the incident and provided a statement to campus police stating that Tealer repeatedly hit the student on his head, face and jaw in a "violent and abusive manner."
Tealer allegedly told police that amid the boy's state of aggression because of his non-verbal autism, he became defensive and struck the boy multiple times. Allegedly, he stated that one of the ways he gets the boy to respond is by using aggression, including hitting the boy on his body or head with his hand, which is reportedly not a common district practice.
Tealer was charged with injury to a disabled person, a third-degree felony, with a bond set at $12,000. Records indicate he is no longer in jail as of Thursday.
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